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DEMOCRACY FORTY YEARS AGO.
quarreling friends. His blows are for the enemy; his forgive
T ness for his associates. He hates corruption as he hated slavery, and he will go far to punish a faithless trustee. Such is our candidate for Vice-President. Is he not an argument in himself? Especially so when we reflect that this man worked for the lowest wages as a boy on a farm, and began to learn shoemaking when he was twenty-one years of age !
[June 9, 1872.)
I was a boy in a Lancaster printing-office when the Jackson party swallowed the old Federalists, and when the Democracy took a fresh start under the banner of Old Hickory. There had been no trenchant Democratic organization till that day, when the Iron President rallied and crystallized it. In 1824 every aspirant for President was a Democrat-Clay, J. Q. Adams, Crawford, Calhoun, and, of course, Jackson; but there was no vigorous antagonism till the Whigs rose out of Mr. Clay's aspirations, and died with their decline. James Buchanan was an early Federalist, and sat in the Pennsylvania Legislature from Lancaster as a Federalist, and afterward in Congress as a representative of the same party; and when he joined the Democrats, under the Jackson standard, about 1828–30, he had to endure many bitter sneers from his old associates. They charged him with having gone over for a selfish purpose. They alleged that he ought to have been, in the logic of events, a good Whig; but he pointed to the fact that the Jackson party contained thousands of Federalists as active as himself, and that
many of the Whig leaders were once Democrats like Clay. This was the Democracy forty years ago. It has passed through many changes since, and survived many storms.
killed the Whigs in 1844, the Native Americans in 1845, the Taylorites in 1849-50, the Websterites in 1852, and the KnowNothings in 1854. At last, however, it undertook a job bigger than itself. It entered into partnership with the rebellion, was bankrupted by the investment, and finally died in the arms of its ablest enemy, Horace Greeley. So history repeats as it runs! Old Hickory made the modern Democracy, and Horace Greeley unmakes it! The one presided at its marriage with the Federals in 1828–30, the other follows it to its grave in 1872. The real Democracy of our times is the Republican party, of which President Grant is the leader; but from this hour, whatever may be the issue of next November's contest, there will be as earnest a rivalry to prove which is the better Republican as, forty years ago, there was to prove which was the better Democrat. Most of the politicians in those early days were anxious to show their devotion to the Democracy, and now John C. Breckinridge, Horatio Seymour, W. W. Corcoran, Charles R. Buckalew, and even Jefferson Davis, are anxious to show their devotion to the Republicans. Thus we gather a great lesson over a grave. Under Jackson the old Federalists were buried in a Democratic sepulchre. Under Greeley the Democrats are buried in a Republican one. And now that the Republicans have fairly absorbed the Democrats, how long will the new departure last?
[July 21, 1872.]
MASSACHUSETTS, and, indeed, most of the New England States -but Massachusetts above all-presents the very best modern ideal of a thorough Republic, not alone in her productive capacities, nor yet in her scientific excellences, nor even in her
THE NEW ENGLAND STATES.
high collegiate establishments, but in the primary elements of general education, public lectures, town halls, large libraries, and local historians. The opportunities for universal information are most general, and almost perfect. The fundamental principle of republican government is typified in the frequent popular meetings, wherein are discussed all municipal necessities, in spacious buildings, which can also be utilized for other purposes, and which are, in every case, I think, connected with libraries open to every class and condition. The result is an insatiate appetite for learning. The whole social frame-work is permeated by healthy competition. No ordinary or superficial lecturer or book satisfies the public. Accustomed to read the best authors, they will tolerate none but the best of speakers. Agassiz, Emerson, and Dr. Holmes are preferred to feebly forcible wits and glittering declaimers. These are the influences which produce so fine and wholesome a literature in New England—which open so many doors to Massachusetts scholars—which place Longfellow, Whittier, Bancroft, Motley, Hillard, Prescott, Dana, Lowell, Ticknor, and Sprague at the head of the American schools of learning—which send forth to States and Territories intelligent young men and women qualified to lead in art and in industry—whether these relate to the labor of the hands or to the labor of the brain. When Mr. Sumner returned from his last tour through Pennsylvania, after having repeated in many of our prominent places his great lectures on “Caste," “ Lafayette,” and “The Franco-Prussian War," he spoke in raptures of the extraordinary variety and fertility of our soil and our productions, especially of the wonderful mineral and agricultural developments in such counties as Lebanon, Schuylkill, and Wyoming, and along the region of the Alleghany Valley. “But,” he remarked, “ that which pained me, in the midst of all this affluence, was the absence in your most populous interior cities of libraries and town halls, such as we have in New England; and I beg of you," he said to me, "to employ your pen in calling the attention of the people of the Middle States to the vital importance of securing such institutions wherever the population warrants them.” As these thoughts occurred to me, I recalled an unpretending and hum
I ble scholar—the most active and accurate, if not the most elegant and polished of our local historians—whose life in itself is an example to our youth, and whose efforts, extending through now nearly half a century, might have been fittingly imitated by men of loftier pretensions and more numerous acquirements. I deplore the fact that, whereas Massachusetts has at least one or two first-class historians and biographers in every county, Pennsylvania has yet to find a perfectly qualified mind to prepare or to compile such a book for the State itself as would do justice to our past and our present, and fit us for the future, and at the same time stimulate others to follow in the lead of the subject of this notice-I. Daniel Rupp, Esq. He was born near Harrisburg in 1803, and is now living, in his seventieth year, at West Philadelphia. This quiet yet laborious man has produced a variety of works of all kinds-most of them devoted to the early records of Pennsylvania. Allibone's “Dictionary of Authors” speaks of him as an industrious historian, translator, and agricultural writer. Without enumerating his productions on other subjects, the Pennsylvania reader will be surprised to see how much of his time has been given to that State, as proved by the following list: History of Lancaster County; History of the Counties of Berks, Lebanon, York, Northampton, Lehigh, Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin, Bedford, Adams, and Perry ; History of Western Pennsylvania and the West, from 1754 to 1833 ; History and Biography of Northumberland, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Centre, Union, Cambria, Juniata, and Clinton Counties, and a Collection of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French, Portuguese, and other Immigrants to Pennsylvania, originally covering a period from 1727 to 1776-an invaluable
A LOCAL HISTORIAN.
book to all persons anxious to ascertain the names of their ancestors-now, I fear, almost out of print-published at Harrisburg on the 25th of January, 1856. He has also ready for the press a monograph of the Hessian mercenaries in the British service during the Revolution, from 1775 to 1783, and has been engaged since 1827 in collecting materials for an original history of the German, Swiss, and Huguenot emigrants to Pennsylvania.
Owing to lack of means, this really useful work has not yet been published. Under New England influences it would long since have been given to the world. It must not be understood as depreciating my native State ; but is it not true that, with the exception of Breckinridge's Western Pennsylvania ; Watson's Annals; the works of Chas. Minor; Rupp's contributions above named, and a few excellent but incomplete memoirs, we are sadly deficient in literature inspired by our early struggles and present pre-eminence? A history of Pennsylvania adapted to the times has yet to be written. Mr. Sypher's book for schools has decided merits; but we wait for a work equal to the traditions, the facts, the men, and the manners of past days brought down to the present time. When will that historian appear?
[July 28, 1872.)
No problem of modern civilization is so vexed as that of municipal government, or the difficulty of securing good rulers for great cities, of regulating taxation, and preserving the public credit. Paris became the dazzling metropolis of the Continent under the irresponsible rule of Louis Napoleon, whose chief agent, Baron Haussman, executed his master's commands